Last month to the day I celebrated my 25th birthday in an epic fashion. I had a birthday party most 10 year olds couldn’t even dream up. I’m proud of this! It was celebrated Harry Potter style! I’m a huge obsessed fan. And I knew I was never going to get the chance to celebrate turning a quarter of a century old and combine it with the opening of the new Harry Potter. My actual birthday fell just before the opening of Deathly Hallows but I had to celebrate it opening night.
I started planning back in August. The theater that is a block from my apartment has a small suite you can rent out. So I rented the 23 seat theater out opening night of the movie. Planning, knitting, sewing, creating began shortly after.
I guess I should start with the order my guests experienced my party. A friend of mine who works at a print shop kindly donated paper and envelopes to make the invitations. I tea stained them all then printed them in green ink. I made them look a lot like the invitation Harry got in the first movie. They were even sealed in purple wax with the letter “H.” Many of my friends carried the invitations around to show off.
When my guests arrived downstairs a Platform 9 3/4 sign greeted them at the elevators. I photo shopped the sign and printed it out on some heavy paper. Unfortunately when I went to collect the sign after the movie someone had stolen it!
Off the elevator they found signs in the hallway leading to Hogwarts. Plastic spiders also littered the hallways to my apartment. I made the Hogwarts banner with cotton fabric, ribbon, and an iron on transfer. A dowel was placed in a pocket at the top to be able to hang it. I found the Sirius Black poster online.
As my friends entered my apartment they found little fabric owls hanging about, real candles floating from the ceiling, and the four house banners. I lined my dining table and craft table up in the living room to look like the great hall.
The owls were from a tutorial online. The candles were each in a glass votive that a friend and I wired around and hung with fishing line from the ceiling. The banners were made the same way as the Hogwarts banner on my front door.
Of course they were greeted by me happily dressed as Hermione. I made my robe. I made sure to add a wand pocket inside it too! I bought the tie online. The rest of my costume were things I had in my closet and from friends who loaned me pieces. My step mom and dad sent me a real wand and broom for my birthday from Alivan’s Wandmakers.
My husband made treats from the books… chocolate frogs, homemade candy corn, candied cinnamon apples, homemade crackers, homemade lollipops with pop rocks (acid pops) and birthday cake. He made my birthday cake look like the one Hagrid gives Harry in the first movie. It was super cute! Guests also enjoyed Pumpkin Ale my husband homebrewed, Butter Beer my friend made, and homemade apple cider.
What made my party more magical was most guests dressed up in character. I had Mad Eye Moody, Professor McGonagall, Dolores Umbridge, Professor Snape, Reeta Skeeter, Viktor Krum, Fleur Delacour, Ginny Weasly, Harry Potter, Tom Riddle, and many students. I have to express that my friend Susanna made her Umbridge costume. Jerrod and Kellie also made their Krum and Fleur costumes. And my friend Dominic, who dressed as Tom Riddle, made his robe and brought his live snake! It only made sense for Tom bring Nagini!
Once everyone had arrived and settled, sorting began. Yes actual sorting! I made a sorting hat out of some faux leather looking fabric and embellished it with patches and stitches. After my brother read out the sorting hat song each person was named off to be seated on the stool to await their fate.
I bought a ton of yarn months in advance to begin knitting house scarves for the lucky guests. Yes, I see the problem here, why is the birthday girl giving things away. You know when you were a kid you got goodies bags, well yeah this was the goodie bag, but better.
Each scarf was wrapped up in brown paper and twine with a tag saying, “Courtesy of S.P.E.W.” This was funnier because I dressed up as Hermione. If you’re a book fan you will understand the humor.
When each guest was seated they were handed a small parcel that contained a scarf to the house I felt they best fit. They opened it up to find out. It was a great way to surprise them!
After sorting and eating sweet treats, and the singing of the Hogwarts school song, we all walked over to the movie theater. I think the best was the odd looks from strangers on the street. Before we arrived at the theater just out front we took a class photo with everyone in their new scarves.
The best part about renting the theater was bypassing the lines and getting VIP treatment. We had many people yell they wanted to join our party and thought everyone who was dressed up looked great.
The small theater had nice leather reclining seats! Birthday song was sung, cake was divided up, drinks served, and we all enjoyed a private showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
This was my best birthday EVER!!! My friends had an amazing time too! I was just so happy to share it with them!
Photos of party taken by Cynthia Richardson.